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1926 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
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September 18, 2018

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September 18, 2018

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 Memories & Condolences
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December 15, 2017
Our heart-felt sympathy to the Radler family: We learned today of Sherman's passing and want to express our deepest condolences to all of you. We know that he will be dearly missed by all of you and we hope that your warm memories give you some comfort. Know that our thoughts and our prayers are with you now.
With love, Van and Marie
December 13, 2017
Our sympathy to all of the Radler family. When I got my job in 1980, my mom took me right to Casual Corner and we bought 2 skirts. I remember every detail about them and it makes me so happy to think Sherman picked them out. A great man (with great taste).
December 12, 2017
Aunt Har, Gary , Cina, Michael, the family who was always there for me-
Thinking of you & sharing your sorrow from so many miles away.
A toast to my wonderful Uncle Sherman , to a life well lived & an amazing legacy left behind. He truly was the best of the best!
Thank you for letting me share.
With much love,
Lyn
December 11, 2017
Despite gracious, competent care, Sherman Radler died of pneumonia at UCONN Health in Farmington. Members of the family, including his wife, were at his side, and he passed away peacefully. He was 91.

On the day he was born, the New York Times reported allegations that President Calvin Coolidge and his family held table-tipping seances in the White House. That evening, the budding, buxom actress Mae West starred in the Broadway production Sex, for which she would later be sentenced to 10 days in jail for obscenity.

Sherman's father, Morris, immigrated from Rzeszów in present-day Poland and settled in Irvington, N.J. He never fully learned to write well, but he successfully made his way in the new world and provided a model to his son. Sherman's mother, Esther Brody, was a native of the Bronx.

Sherman placed a premium on being aware of the world around him. He was an avid consumer of the news and always had a stack of best-selling books, in addition to magazines, and piles of Women's Wear Daily and The New York Times, beside his chair. At times other surfaces around the house were covered with spreadsheets from the office.

Like all of us, Sherman was complex. He was a somewhat picky eater, avoiding spicy foods, cooked raisins, asparagus, lima beans, brussels sprouts, and even pasta. When he was away, macaroni and cheese became a staple at home. On the other hand, he loved gefilte fish.

His children and grandchildren have many fond memories. Besides the mock accents, inventive stories, and impersonations with which he entertained them, there was wrestling, boxing (yes, with boxing gloves) and, after climbing up on his torso, "sliding down the telephone pole." An annual treat was his ad libbed rendition of what he called The Bone Song at Passover. He was easygoing enough to once greet his children's friends in his underwear. He wasn't known for jokes, but held forth with observational humor and wry remarks. When his infant great-grandson got entangled with his reading glasses, and onlookers were disconcerted, Sherman's deadpanned response was, "So he'll learn to read." He was rarely quiet but rather whistled, hummed, mimicked birds, and talked to himself (and offending drivers) while driving.

He was not the one to lay down the law in the household — that was left to his wife Harriet. But he was still a wonderful example of kindness. He was generous to many charities. Slow to anger, his strongest adverse reaction was to become "frosted." His most trenchant epithet was, "Cheeses Christ!" He was not beyond demanding quality, however, as his career attested and as a food service manager at his independent living facility confirmed on the day of his death, remembering Sherman's sharp feedback that helped elevate dining room standards at Brookdale's Chatfield facility. He was always curious, and even late in life was eager to learn all about his grandchildren's careers. He also desperately wanted to know why the traffic was jammed or how a particular politician could be so stupid.

His many work-related stay-overs in New York were opportunities to provide the family with gifts of cheesecake from Lindy's or chocolate from Barton's. He became friendly with many of the concierges at the Marriott Marquis on Times Square.

The Radlers spent a number of summers at Stannard Beach on Long Island Sound in Westbrook, Conn., and vacationed a couple of times at Rocking Horse Ranch in the Poconos. Many good meals were had at local Chinese restaurants Chengdu and Green Tea. Lox, Stock, and Bagels was another regular haunt. Sherman and Harriet took the extended family on an Alaska cruise in 1999, and regularly hosted gatherings in Connecticut and at their winter condo on Longboat Key in Florida.

Sherman grew up far from the tony shops and graceful landscaping of Longboat: on Plimpton Avenue in the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx, a predominantly Irish-American neighborhood back then. His parents lost almost everything on Black Tuesday in 1929.

One of his earliest memories was when a man came to install light switches. "I must have been four or five years old, and I remember the electrician coming into the house," Sherman told his family. "He changed the fixtures from pullchains to wired light switches. I don't know why that impressed me, but it did."

Because of his childhood illness, Sherman's draft status was 4-F for the war that, it is said, defined his generation but — perhaps compensatorily — he developed a lifelong interest in politics and world affairs.

He graduated from NYU in 1947 with a B.S. in retail. But the man and his calling had already metretailing ran in the family. His father Morris was a co-owner of a women's apparel business and, after college, Sherman joined the family firm.

He met Harriet Goldstein by the water cooler at the company buying office on west 36th Street in Manhattan. He courted her and picked her up for dates in his 39 Chevy Master. In December 1949, he hid a diamond ring in a box of her favorite candy — chocolate-covered cherries — and on May 28, 1950, they were wed. They produced three children and remained inseparable for 67 years.

When the Radlers began working in the family's Hartford store, Gay Modern, they got to know fellow employee, budding comedienne Totie Fields, who soon rose to national fame. She kept everyone in the store "in stitches."

Keeping with family tradition, his older brother Albert ran the Torrington, Conn., clothing store, Lady Lee. Sherman's mother and Harriet's mother both worked at this shop until they reached an advanced age. Sherman and Harriet soon moved the family to Wethersfield, and later to West Hartford, putting down roots on Craigmoor Road where Sherman tended rose bushes and attended the nearby Temple Sinai.

His Casual Corner career began In 1959 when he was hired as the first buyer and only other executive besides the two owners. The chain had stores in downtown West Hartford, Springfield, Providence, and Worcester. His children got in on the act on weekends by occasionally schlepping boxes of merchandise out of the family station wagon to a Casual Corner location.

Sherman excelled in his role and maintained critical relationships with major clothing manufacturers. He once flew to India to ensure the quality of a particular fabric. It was not considered ironic in this era for the women's wear industry to be dominated by men. In an industry where envelopes of cash and other inducements were often used to sweeten deals, Sherman was known to be a paragon of virtue. He once returned a color TV that a manufacturer had provided as a gift, saying it was inappropriate.

As Sherman's job was demanding and his approach to it all-consuming, it's no wonder none of his children followed a retail career. For 33 years, he was a mainstay at Casual Corner. With the advent of shopping malls and an aggressive growth strategy — fueled in part by new corporate owners — the chain grew to a women's wear behemoth.

When Sherman finally left the company in 1992, he was not only given a splendid retirement party but a financial package that recognized his outsized contributions to the firm. It was a grand and well-timed gesture given the disruption that lay ahead with new management, corporate reshuffling, and increased competition. Casual Corner closed its remaining locations in late 2005 after selling out to a liquidator.

Not only did Sherman cater to the fashion needs of style-conscious working women, but he was an elegant dresser himself. Particular about high-quality cotton shirts, he had some tailored for him in Hong Kong, ostensibly because he had sensitive skin but also because he was a style maven. Until he gave up his pipe, his beautiful woolens were redolent of the cherry Borkum Riff tobacco he favored. He played tennis until recently — even after breaking his hip on the court. After he retired, Sherman and Harriet continued to travel domestically and overseas to places such as Japan, England, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Spain, Israel, Thailand, Hong Kong, France, Egypt, and Greece, and to Italy multiple times. And they made the yearly migration to Florida where they enjoyed yet another community of friends.

Sherman did not depart this mortal coil quickly or easily. Even though he and Harriet benefited from dedicated live-in care provided by their dear Emeliaa — a warm and resourceful Ghanaian who in effect has become a member of the family — he was in and out of emergency care in his last two years. He suffered a broken neck, encephalitis, a gaping head wound, and finally pneumonia. In each case he impressed family and doctors with his strength and tenacity. Even near the end he rallied unexpectedly to interact with family and try to express himself, causing son Michael to exclaim, "There is a lot of fight in that dog."

Just days before Sherman passed away, his only great-grandchild elicited one of his last known smiles (see attached photo).

He is beloved by all who knew him.